Adjuvants to save time and efficiency

Taping is a very useful adjuvant, enabling care provided during the session at the office to be prolonged. As the taping strips are water-resistant, it is possible to keep them on for several days and thus prolong the effects of the session.

In addition, taping does not completely limit movement, which makes it an ally to regaining mobility (the heart of a physiotherapist’s profession). Its effectiveness lies precisely in the fact that the patient remains active. Movement induces a stretching and relaxing effect which stimulates the skin receptors and enables action at the proprioceptive level (Bischoff et al., 2018). Movement also acts at the mechanical level by slightly decompressing the skin and underlying fascia, thus relieving pressure on the nociceptors and decongesting the microcirculation, and thus having an analgesic action (Nelson, 2016). The effects of taping are therefore part of the continuity of care provided in the practice.

Based on the configuration, different effects are possible

– I or Y configuration: used for a proprioceptive or muscle relaxation effect

– X or T configuration: analgesic set-up enabling the creation of a compression point on the painful area

– Fan- or spider-shaped configuration: drainage set-up (Kasawara et al., 2018) through pressure gradient and mobilization of both the skin and the lymphatic network.

The strenghts of taping to save time and efficiency are:

  • From a practical point of view: bands can be applied quickly, the set-up can remain in place for 3–4 days because they are water-resistant, suitable for all types of patients (athletes, children, pregnant women, rheumatology, etc)
  • From an efficiency point of view: they do not limit movement, they prolong the care provided in the practice depending on the chosen configuration (analgesic effect, draining, proprioceptive).

Another technique: suction cups

This very old technique, brought up to date, is used by health professionals in many countries. Suction cups are a good complement for work on soft tissues such as fascia. Their ease of use (many indications with few contraindications) make them an additional asset to add to your therapeutic arsenal (Rozenfeld et al., 2016).

The effects of suction cups

  • Circulatory: the principle is mechanical. The vacuum (generated by the space inside the cup) creates a suction effect. Hyperemia occurs, which allows the treated area to be decongested (Yoo et al., 2004).
  • Analgesic: the suction relieves the pressure exerted on the nociceptors (Musial et al., 2013). Additionally, the application of suction cups triggers the release of enkephalins (a morphino-mimetic molecule)
  • Metameric reflexes: cutaneous hyperemia has an effect on the reflex pathways thanks to reflex dermalgia (the dermatome influencing the viscerotome and the myotome corresponding to the same metameric stage). Numerous maps exist to identify the cellulalgia to be treated. Practitioners can refer to the work of Head and Jarricot, who have mapped the skin zones where the sensitivity of each of the viscera is projected. Equally, the work of Dr. Maigne on the subject of minor invertebral dysfunctions (MID) has made it possible to highlight cellulo-teno-myalgic syndrome T9-T10 and T12-L1.

Cellulo-teno-myalgic syndrome T9-T10 and T12-L1. Dr. Maigne

Mobile or static suction cup?

There are two ways of using suction cups. The reference technique remains placing static cups, but it is possible to move the cup to achieve a mechanical action. This mobile technique can be useful in cases involving scar adhesions.

The strenghts of suction cups to save time and efficiency are:

  • From a practical point of view: ease of application, very few contraindications, treatment time of 2–10 minutes.
  • From an efficiency point of view: wide field of application (rheumatology, trauma, sports, osteopathy).

The three major effects of the use of suction cups will be circulatory, analgesic and reflexes.